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Leszek Jaszczak

Leszek Jaszczak is a freelance writer living in Poland. His interests are gluten-free food, raw gluten-free materials and quality management. His writings appear in Polish confectionery magazines.

 Articles by this Author


Image: CC--Maryland GovPics

Celiac disease is a genetically determined disorder in which affected individuals show an intolerance to ingested gluten (Food Safety Authority of Ireland [FSAI]). It is an inheritable, life-long disease and is characterized by an inflammatory reaction to dietary gluten in the human small intestine. The special feature of the disease is a flattening of intestinal villi along with crypt hypertrophy. As a result, it leads to significant loss of absorptive surface area and resulting malabsorption of nutrients, vitamins and minerals...

Production of gluten free products involves the fulfillment of specific requirements. These products must be free of gluten...



Image: CC--Dennis Jarvis

Despite the economic downturn, the cost of healthy products has not diminished. Sales have continued to grow in this sector thanks to the many information campaigns aimed at raising consumer awareness of the health benefits of consuming gluten free products. Manufacturers have responded to the growing demand by expanding the variety of products they offer. Many consumers, including those that cannot eat gluten, do not want to give up eating products specially designed for them although they cost even more than traditional food. The demand for products that address food intolerance continues to grow.



Velvety buckwheat bread - sliced. Image: CC--Eric Fung

The most frequently used materials in the baking industry are wheat, rye, and barley flours. However, due to the presence of gluten, they cannot be used for gluten-free food production. Gluten-free products are characterized by a low content of nutrients such as protein and minerals which are important for meeting normal physiological requirements.



Photo: CC--Mr Hicks46

Raw materials used by breweries include barley. A characteristic feature of this grain is the presence of gluten proteins which also includes hordein. This group of proteins are the trigger of celiac disease symptoms [Darewicz, Dziuba, Jaszczak: "Celiakia – aspekty molekularne, technologiczne, dietetyczne." Przemysł Spożywczy, styczeń, 2011] . This issue raises the need to seek new methods of brewing that allow for the elimination of gluten proteins from the beer [Swora E., Stankowiak-Kulpa H., Mazur M. 2009. Dieta bezglutenowa w chorobie trzewnej. Nowiny Lekarskie 78, 5-6, 324-329]. The biggest problem for coeliac patients is to identify permitted foods. Food manufacturers know about the above problem and are offering new products for people with celiac disease.



Image: CC--zaimoku_woodpile

Allergens in processed foods can be a significant problem in the confectionery industry. In the European Union, current estimates suggest that 17 million people suffer from food allergies and in recent years, the number of children under five years with significant food allergies has grown. Therefore, it is important to keep track of information and raise awareness among consumers and producers.



Image: CC-- Phil Gradwell

For many years, nutritionists, doctors and the media declared a low-fat diet as an effective method of losing weight, lowering the level of so-called "bad cholesterol", and preventing health problems. We have since seen that it is not only fat intake but also the type of fat we eat is of paramount importance.



Image: CC---Joshua Mayer

Polyphenols are a group of compounds produced by plants, highly variable in strucure, physical, chemical and biological properties. Currently science knows of several thousand natural phenolic compounds. A common feature of polyphenols is their ability to enable redox reactions.